Essay about Media Commentators

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Academic researchers as well as media commentators frequently argue that race relations in the United States have worsened considerably over the past decade. Is this true? How would a sociologist go about investigating this claim? If indeed this is an accurate assessment, what are some of the factors that may have contributed to this trend? What sociological perspective might you use in your analysis?

Race Relations

Some people may believe that race relations in the United States have considerably worsened over the years.

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One of the main problems that has worsened has been between the African American race and law enforcement officials. Blacks and whites have very different views on this topic, which is why there is a lot of debates over the issue. Majority of the African American race believe that the police force is doing a poor job of using the right amount of force in certain situations and they also believe that they are not being held accountable for their actions. The overall majority of the white race disagree with the opinion of the African American race. There are many theories that speak from a sociological point of view on race relations. In the twentieth century more people of color started to become social scientist. These people began to explore different theories from different perspectives that was far from the norm. This shifted the focus of others to the social system and social relations. “Today, sociologists within the subfield of race and ethnicity focus on areas including racial and ethnic identities, social relations and interactions within and across racial and ethnic lines” (Crossman).

Many events that have occured over the past few years indicate that there is turbulence in racial relations in our society. Forty-six percent of our society today believe that the issue of race relations would worsen under President Trump’s tenure. After a survey was taken in 2017 six out of ten people believe that his election has made racial relations worse in the U.S. One specific incident occurred in August of 2017 that concerned many Americans. In a town of Virginia, that consists primarily of African Americans, stood a sixteen and a half foot statue. This statue was created in remembrance of Robert E. Lee, who was an American confederate soldier. Robert E. Lee was an iconic figure during the civil war and one of the most successful people to maintain and insure that African Americans remain as slaves during the time of the civil war. He became known as the grandfather of slavery because of these actions. “This man who chose the course which eventually led to practical failure is one of the model of the times.”(Wilson 1924:325) The African Americans in this city of Virginia wanted this statue removed, so they protested. It was a very painful reminder of when their ancestors had limited freedom and racism was abundant. The white supremacist in this city protested against the removal of the statue. This caused violence, hatred, and more tension to arise in racial relations.

Another example that has heightened racial relation is profiling by proxy. This has happened in many instances over the past decade. In my opinion most African Americans believe that the people profiling them have biased views. An incident that occurred at Smith College is a prime example of profiling by proxy. In late July 2018, a court opened an investigation that included an African American college student and a staff employee. The employee saw the student on campus during the summer and said he did not think he belonged where he was. As it turns out the student worked there as a summer job and was simply eating lunch in a public area, but campus police responded anyways. As many people know college campuses are supposed to be safe places with the ability to be who one wants to be. But, One can see that being a student of the college or even a professor does not always mean people look at you equally, or even accept you, especially if you are the member of a minority group of any kind. On the other hand, the white people believe that the African American people are receiving special treatment because of society trying to avoid racially profiling them.

“Media, and digital media, as argued in chapter 1, are an autonomous subsystem, a transmission belt between citizens and elites in the political process.” (Schroeder 2018:28) One way that racial relations have worsened that goes almost unnoticed by professional reviews is through social media. Social media allows people to share their opinion in anyway that they want. Social media makes it easy to make a certain topic such as racial relations go “viral.” When things are said on social media about racial issues there is almost an immediate reaction and response. This is one major reason why there is a negative perspective when talking about race, because many people are more likely to share their negative opinion on social media. “at times, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites can help users bring greater attention to issues through their collective voice.” (Anderson and Hitlin 2016:1)When on social media people do not have to show their faces or even state their names which makes it easier for people to express their feelings whether it be positively or negatively. Although many people would assume that political figures would not provoke public issues on social media, Donald Trump seems to express his thoughts on the Twitter feed all the time.

As you can see from this graph it is not unlikely for current events to be discussed on social media. Overall social media can have a huge impact on the world in many different situations and on many different topics.

“The demographics of the United States have been changing for several years (Center for Public Education 2016), particularly in terms of racial and ethnic diversity.” (Gleditsch and Berg 2017:104) Sociologist study and have theories over racial relations, but there is not just one overall view. Many sociologist believe that there are two sides to the topic of racial relations. One highly favorable sociologist was W.E.B. De Bois. W.E.B. De Bois was different than many African Americans because he was actually the first African American to receive a PhD from Harvard University. He also played a big role in leading the black civil rights movement. His efforts and theories have made an everlasting impact on society during his time and also in today’s world. He wrote many books that are still important to the way that sociologist study race and racism. One major idea that he proposed that advanced the beliefs of sociologist was the concept of “double-consciousness” and “The Veil”.

The Veil is a metaphor that Du Bois used to describe how African Americans see the world in a different view than whites. The actual meaning of the veil can be understood as “dark skin” which shows that blacks are different from whites. Overall Du Bois states that the veil is keeping black people from having true self-consciousness, which makes them have double-consciousness, which means that they understand themselves and their family. This also means that they have an understanding of the way that others that view them as inferior. This did not just change the view during his time period, this still has a huge impact on people’s views today. This was much-needed information that helped bring African Americans out of inferiority.

This is still relevant today and is very obvious in the examples that I previously provided. For example, profiling by proxy shows how people still view African Americans as inferior. We could say in our society today that these African Americans still have a veil over them today, because some white people only view them as drug dealers, robbers, and thieves.

In the past decade race relations have most definitely worsened. There have been many problems in the past few years as stated in various parts of my essay such as, the incident in Virginia, profiling by proxy, social media, and many others. Personally I believe that the issue of racism and racial profiling was started long ago, but is now being resparked in today’s society. After reading and researching many different sociologist and their views on racial relations, W.E.B Du Bois stood out to me the most because of his way of thinking. I completely agree with his thoughts and theories on “The Veil” and “Double-consciousness”. I used Du Bois’ perspective because he had such an amazing impact on our world today. Looking back on my essay I feel that racial relations is not something that can be immediately solved, but rather improved and managed with time. “ Sociology is a discipline embodying a set of theories and principles which studies normal social phenomena.” (Mccobb 1932:355) I believe that as more sociologist review and research the topic of racial relations the more knowledge of studies and theories will come into play. Overall racial relations is a huge debatable topic in our world today and is something that needs to be addressed. Over the past decade racial relations has worsened and there are many examples to show that. There will always be two different sides to a certain topic such as racial relations, but as these sociologists keep researching race and racism more and more people will start realizing just how important it is to address the issue. Sociology shows views from different perspectives that many people in our world today are not exposed to especially on the topic of racial relations.

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Essay About Media Commentators. (2019, Apr 28). Retrieved from